Obama Administration, New Congress Poised to Push Broad Pro-Abortion Agenda
WASHINGTON (January 2, 2009)--The pro-life movement is bracing for battle as a new Congress convenes with pro-abortion Democrats in majority control in both houses, poised to work with incoming President Barack Obama to push an expansive pro-abortion agenda.
2009 will be the first time since 1994 that both houses of Congress are under pro-abortion majority control at the same time as a pro-abortion president is in office.
"The alignment of a hard-core pro-abortion president with pro-abortion Democratic majorities in Congress means that many existing pro-life policies are now in great jeopardy," said NRLC Legislative Director Douglas Johnson. "Some damage is inevitable, but the extent to which the Obama abortion agenda will be achieved will depend on the perception of elected policymakers as to how the public is responding to the proposed changes."
During his years in the Illinois state Senate (1996–2004), Obama was a leader in opposing pro-life legislation, including bills to ban partial-birth abortions and to protect infants who are born alive during abortions. During his four years in the U.S. Senate (2005–08), he always voted against the pro-life side, and he cosponsored the so-called "Freedom of Choice Act" (FOCA), a proposed federal law that would invalidate virtually all limits on abortion.
2009: Double Membership, Expand Chapter Base
The election of pro-abortion Senator, now President-elect, Barack Obama crystallized and gave enormous added impetus to a plan already in the works to grow National Right to Life to unprecedented size in 2009. This all-out commitment to a surge in dues-paying membership and local chapters development dovetails with the focus of this special commemorative edition of National Right to Life News: "Stop the Obama Abortion Agenda."
By the time most of you receive this edition, Obama will have already begun to flesh out a few of the details of his administration's all-out assault on the pro-life legacy of President George W. Bush, Obama's commitment to integrating abortion into our national health care structure, and his preliminary moves to pave the way for eventual passage of the "Freedom of Choice Act" (FOCA), which is much more accurately described as the "Federal No-Limits-On-Abortion Bill." (See Douglas Johnson's story on page one and sidebar on page 17.)
Our job is to defeat proposals where we can, minimize the damage where we cannot, and to raise high the banner that signals that we are growing stronger as we rebound from a tough 2008 election cycle. It can be done. With your invaluable help, it will be done.
An Important Message
Obama wants “choice” to be the law of the land. He told Planned Parenthood during the campaign that “the first thing I’d do as President is to sign the Freedom of Choice Act” (FOCA).
But we saw the threat of FOCA. The National Right to Life Political Action Committee made sure that millions of pro-lifers all across the country were told about Obama’s pledge to sign FOCA as his first act if he was elected. Thousands of churches educated their members on the abortion dangers of FOCA.
With all this negative publicity it now appears Obama and his allies have decided to change their strategy.
Apparently they’ve decided to achieve the same ends as FOCA through piecemeal legislation.
This legislation would be every bit as deadly to unborn babies as FOCA and even more challenging to defeat.
You will have to be ready
to respond rapidly to each new threat.
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Vol. 36, No. 1
From the President
ACHIEVED A LOT, NOW WE MUST DO MORE
The last election was a disappointment, because economic concerns swamped all other issues confronting the electorate. However, the pro-life volunteers for NRL PAC and the political action committees of NRLC’s state affiliates did their job providing election information to voters. In a post-election poll commissioned by NRLC, 34% of respondents said their vote was affected by the abortion issue: 25% voting for pro-life candidates and 9% voting for pro-abortion candidates, making for a “pro-life difference” of 19%.
Post-election defeatists, directing their anger at NRLC (because our legislative activity “still hasn’t outlawed abortion after all these years”), have a fundamental misunderstanding about Roe v. Wade: In 1973, the Supreme Court did not “legalize” abortion, it constitutionalized it. That means that Roe v. Wade must either be overturned by the Supreme Court itself or nullified by a constitutional amendment.
The first realistic goal for pro-lifers is to elect presidents and senators willing to appoint and confirm Supreme Court judges who respect the Constitution and are willing to reverse the extra-constitutional Roe v. Wade decision. We have not yet fully realized the goal of an anti-Roe majority on the Supreme Court, but most observers believe we are a lot closer now than we were in 1973 when the decision was imposed by a 7 to 2 pro-abortion majority. The Obama presidency threatens to cause a delay in this quest, but true pro-lifers don’t give up.
The second, equally urgent, goal for pro-lifers is to change women’s attitudes about abortion and make abortion less likely. On this front, we have made great progress.
NRL News Archive